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Film: A Selection of Animated Refugee stories

Please note videos first to determine if they are suitable for children in your care.


2022: Two polar bears are driven into exile due to global warming. They will encounter brown bears along their journey, with whom they will try to cohabitate.

8 minutes 23 seconds

An Award-Winning CG Animated Short Film

The student team of Hugo Caby, Antoine Dupriez, Aubin Kubiak, Lucas Lermytte, and Zoé Devise approached their graduation project knowing they wanted to create a film that addressed societal issues. Inspired initially by the story of the Aquarius, a watercraft filled with refugees that stirred global headlines when it was refused entry at Italian ports in 2018, they used that as a jumping-off point in shaping Migrants. The plot that they arrived upon centers on two polar bears who are cast adrift in the Arctic due to the ecological unraveling of their home. Following the current, they find deliverance when they wash ashore upon a verdant wooded forest. However, the pair soon encounter brown bears native to the area and their initial hopes of cohabitation are quickly dashed.

"A stellar student film from 5 young creatives out of the Pôle 3D school in France, Migrants is an emotionally affecting fable that dramatizes contemporary concerns surrounding climate change and refugees while wowing audiences with astounding animation designed to transpose the visual charm of handcrafted stop-motion onto a full 3D production.


2021: Oscar-Contending ‘Umbrella’ Is A Short Film With A Hopeful Message For Our Times

It’s only eight minutes long and not a single word is spoken. Yet Umbrella has moved audiences around the world, earning acclaim on the festival circuit.

7 minutes 55 seconds

Umbrella is first film from directing duo Helena Hilario and Mario Pece. The short tells the story of Joseph, a boy who lives in an orphanage and dreams of owning a yellow umbrella — until he meets a little girl who awakens his memories of the past.

“The film makes us reflect on the importance of observing, listening, and understanding that we cannot judge people without knowing what is behind their experience,” says Hilario. ... It all started when Hilario got a call from her sister in 2011. The sister said she had visited an orphanage in Palmas (in the Brazilian state of Paraná) to deliver Christmas gifts to the children. There was one boy who didn’t want any of the toys. When asked what he wanted, he said he would love an umbrella. The reason was that the last time he remembered seeing his father was on a rainy day; in his head, he needed an umbrella to reunite the family.

As Hilario explains, “In making this short, our dream and goal were to translate a painful memory into art to spread a beautiful message of empathy and hope. A sad event inspired us to create a beautiful and delicate story. We couldn’t stop thinking about how precious our memories are, and we must put ourselves in the other’s shoes before jumping to conclusions.” (

Ali and the Long Journey to Australia

Thirteen pupils from seven countries have drawn on their imagination and personal experiences to create the story of a 10-year-old and his family and their search for safety.

3 minutes 47 seconds

Ali and the Long Journey to Australia is a stop-motion film based on a tale written and illustrated by students from refugee backgrounds at Noble Park primary school in south-east Melbourne

Unfairy Tales: Malak and the boat | UNICEF

2016: Seven year old Malak fled with her family from war-torn Syria and braved a dangerous journey across the Mediterranean. "I had a lot of friends, now there is no one left," Malak says.

1minute 57 seconds

This is the first animation in UNICEF's 'Unfairy Tales' series that brings to life the true stories of the Syrian crisis' youngest survivors.

Unfairy Tales: The story of Ivine and Pillow | UNICEF

For 14-year-old Ivine, the war in Syria has taken a huge toll on her home, family, and dreams. “I’d have nightmares about those scenes, and I’d cry. I’d wake up, and my pillow would be soaking wet from all my tears.” We bring her story to life.

2 minutes 35 seconds

Some stories were never meant for children. Ivine's journey from Syria is an Unfairy Tale no child should ever imagine, let alone endure.


2023: Inspired by the real stories of children we work with, Home is a lovely, heartwarming film that uses animated characters to tell a story about how child refugees feel and what it’s like to be away from home. It also celebrates the possibilities for children welcoming new refugee friends and learning about different cultures.

4 minutes 23 seconds

To mark the one-year anniversary of the war in Ukraine, Academy Award®-winning animation studio Aardman and international children’s charity Save the Children released Home, a short film to highlight the experience of refugee children around the world.

A Refugee's Journey

2019: Everyone should have a safe place to live and a safe way to get there.

3 minutes 23 Seconds

by the International Refugee Assistance Project.

Animated by Igor + Valentine 2019


2018: a young refugee, starts a new life and follows his dreams

The United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI) the story of Ishak, a young Rohingya refugee from Myanmar who fled to Malaysia. With the assistance of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and support from his new community, Ishak was able to find acceptance and continue his education. He now dreams of becoming a football star.

The video was produced by DPI's Education Outreach Section in support of the Together Initiative.

Carly, A Refugee's Story

2007: Carly is forced to flee her home and leave everything behind. All alone, she sets out to find help in other lands. She encounters the Stone-eaters, Smoky-crows, and Silk-tails. But none of them will help her because she is "strange and different from them." "Where will Carly find the safety and warmth of a new family?

UNHCR: THe UN Refugee Agency, 2007

The Journey - Children's Refugee Story

What is a Refugee?

Made to help children grasp the stories of refugees and what they go through.

The video can help teach Australian children about where refugees come from, what happened in their countries, and why they fled danger.

3 minutes 43 seconds

From Save the Children Australia.

Animated video on forced migration

This Development and Peace animation encourages us to reflect on forced displacement. The refugee crisis is global and each of us has a role to play.

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